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The best tablet of 2014: Apple vs Sony vs Samsung

Tony Ibrahim | May 26, 2014
Savage competition has seen the gap separating Apple's iPad from a slew of Android tablets close. Ambassadors of Android, particularly Samsung and Sony, have learnt how to couple the refined OS with capable hardware. The result: better products for less. This comparison takes the two most competitive tablets, Samsung's Galaxy NotePro 12.2 and Sony's Xperia Z2 Tablet, and measures how they stand next to Apple's iPad Air.

The Xperia Z2 Tablet is free from the 'big brother' governance that turns people off Apple products

But Apple is critical about how you, the customer, uses the iPad. Files cannot be transferred over Bluetooth, and only photos can be transferred to a PC without iTunes. Not only is the iPad locked down, but it insists you buy complementary Apple products to get the best experience. And sometimes you don't want to be strong-armed into buying yet another Apple product.

Sony's rendition of Android arguably features the best overlay of any manufacturer. Application support is strong complements of the Android ecosystem, and Sony then adds one of the best multimedia suites. The iPad's iOS edges ahead in looks, but the Xperia Z2 Tablet is free from the 'big brother' governance that turns people off Apple products.

Winner: Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

High-resolution screens, Multi-core CPUs

Playing in the high end of the tablet market means each of the three tablets run fast and come with high resolution screens.

Apple's iPad Air runs the least powerful hardware with a 1.3GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and internal storage up to 128GB. The iPad Air might have the weakest specs on paper, but its iOS operating system is the least demanding.

Samsung screens remain the unsung heroes of its tablets and smartphones

The 9.7in iPad Air also has the smallest screen in the comparison, but the 9.7in display has a resolution of 1536x2048 for a density of 264 pixels-per-inch -- and that's higher than both tablets from Sony and Samsung. Having the pixels closer together results in clearer picture and improved touch recognition.

Sony's 10.1in tablet features a 2.3GHz quad-core CPU, 3GB of RAM and comes with up to 32GB of storage, which can be expanded with a microSD memory card.

The display, which we pined over during our review of the Z2 Tablet, is the least attractive of the trio, as its resolution of 1920x1200 imbues with with a 224 pixel-per-inch density.

Overachieving on the hardware front is the Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2. The tablet's expansive 12.2in screen has a crisp 2560x1600 resolution for a 247 pixel-per-inch density. Granted the ppi count is lower than that of the iPad Air's, but the negligible difference is easily compensated with the size, vibrancy and responsiveness of the screen. Samsung screens remain the unsung heroes of its tablets and smartphones.

Read more:Nokia Lumia 2520 review

The Samsung tablet is just as impressive on the inside with specifications matching that of the Xperia Z2 Tablet. It has a 2.3GHz quad-core CPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which can be expanded with microSD memory.

 

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